Cambridge ESOL Article Contribution to China Daily
Get ready for KET Reading & Writing
If you are taking KET in June, you still have time to prepare. Here are some tips to help you get ready for KET Reading & Writing.
To practice your reading skills, try to read as much English as you can. This should be the type of English we use in everyday life, such as short newspaper and magazine articles, advertisements, tourist brochures, instructions and recipes. You will find texts like this in the exam. Read the text to understand the main message and try to guess any words you do not know.
To practice your writing skills, write short messages to your friends and your teacher. You could, for example, write invitations, plans for a meeting or say why you missed a class. This will help you to communicate messages successfully and will help you to work on mistakes with grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation.
One of the best ways to prepare for KET Reading & Writing is to find out more about the paper. How many questions are there? What is being tested? How is it being tested? How are the questions marked? If you know what you expect, you are more likely to do well.
The Reading & Writing paper takes 1 hour 10 minutes and is in nine parts. For each part you will be given an example to show you what you need to do. There are 56 questions in total.
You will complete a number of different tasks, including matching, choosing the correct answer, spelling and guided writing. You will show your answer either by marking boxes (parts 1-5) or by writing your answer (parts 6-9) on an answer sheet.
[Insert example candidate answer sheet, both sides]
The material used in the paper is taken from real world notices, newspaper and magazine articles, and simple encyclopaedia entries. There may be words in the exam that you do not know. Don’t worry; this should not stop you from understanding and doing the tasks.
What each part involves
Part 1 (5 questions)
This part tests your ability to understand the main message of a sign, notice or other very short texts. These are texts you could find on roads, in railway stations, airports, shops, restaurants, offices, schools, etc. This is a matching question; you will need to match five sentences to the correct sign or notice.
Tip: You may not understand every word. This does not matter if you can understand the meaning.
Part 2 (5 questions)
This part tests your knowledge of vocabulary. You will be given five sentences. Each sentence has a word missing. You must choose the missing word from one of three choices. The sentences are all on the same topic or are linked by a simple story line.
Tip: Although you should look at each sentence on its own, the overall context may help you to find the correct answer.
Part 3 (10 questions)
This part tests your ability to understand the language of everyday conversation. Questions 11-15 have three choices. You must complete five short conversations.
Questions 16-20 are matching exercises. You must complete a longer conversation, by choosing from a list of eight sentences.
Tip: The conversations in this part take place in shops, hotels, restaurants, etc.
Part 4(7 questions)
This part tests your ability to understand the main ideas and some details of longer texts (about 230 words). These texts could include newspaper and magazine articles. You may be given questions with three possible answers or you may need to decide whether statements about the text are ‘right’, ‘wrong’, or ‘doesn’t say’.
Tip: There may be words you do not understand but these should not stop you completing the task.
[Insert example part 4 task]
Part 5(8 questions)
This part tests your knowledge of grammar in a reading text. Texts are from newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopaedia entries, etc. Some words are missing from the text; you must complete the text by choosing the correct word from three choices.
Tip: Try reading the whole text first to understand the meaning. This may help you select the missing words.
[Insert example part 5 task]
The next four parts focus on writing (parts 6-9).
Part 6(5 questions)
In this part you will write five words and spell them correctly. The five words will all be about one subject, e.g. jobs, food. For each word, you are given a ‘definition’, the first letter of the word, and the number of letters in the word.
Tip: Look at the example you are given. This will help you see what type of word you should be looking for.
Part 7(10 questions)
This part tests your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. You will complete a text which has words missing. These texts are short and simple, e.g. notes or short letters. The missing words should be words you are using at KET level.
Tip: You must spell the words correctly or you will lose marks.
Part 8(5 questions)
In this part you will complete a simple writing task. You will be given the information you need in one or two short texts (e.g. note, e-mail, advertisement). This will help you complete a form, notice, or other similar type of document.
Tip: You can prepare for this part by revising words you find on forms, e.g. surname, date of birth, etc.
Part 9(1 question)
In the last part of the paper you will write a short message, note or postcard (25-35 words). You will write about three things. The question will tell you the type of message, who it is for and what kind of information to include.
Tip: Remember to sign your notes and to write at least 25 words, or you will lose marks. You will not lose marks if you write over 35 words but it is better to write 25-35 words.
[Insert two different examples of part 9 task]